Pumpkin Pie for Breakfast

Pumpkin Pie is on the menu for breakfast. Every year since I can remember, the day after Thanksgiving would begin with me waking up early, running into the living room, getting out the CD deck that had Christmas music in it (my dad typically had it already set up because he had been listening to Christmas music for a month at this point) and putting it in the CD player, I would turn on the Hot cider and cut two slices of Pumpkin Pie, one for my mom and one for me.

“Pumpkin has all the parts of the food pyramid,” she’d say,” Pumpkin is a vegetable, there’s eggs, milk, and the crust forms a breading”

Any reason to have dessert, especially pumpkin pie, for breakfast I was immensely supportive of. It became our tradition, even to the point where I had to make sure we saved at least two pieces from the night before if it was in high demand. Isn’t it amazing how some traditions just make a holiday and remind you of home.

I am thankful. I really am. I mean being that this was the first Thanksgiving without my family, I still had a family here in the East that I could celebrate the holiday with. I got the great opportunity to help make dinner and I made the pies. 

I know that I am moving forward to a place in ministry, life, and personally that is where I need to be, both physically and emotionally. To get to this place, there are costs that I need to take into account. Three months ago, give or take, Dan Stewart (former president of LIFE Pacific/Bible College, Current Professor, and just wise man of God) gave a message on counting the cost. Now, I had heard a version of this sermon before from him, but it didn’t mean so much to me then as it did this time around.Basically the message posed the question: Count the Cost, am I willing to follow Christ wherever He asks, because it will cost me. Now in the end it will be worth it, but to get there you must go through the process of counting the costs, making sacrifices of things for the sake of the call God has for you. 

I am thankful for where God is taking me, what He is taking me from, but the cost is great.  Missed holidays. Missed opportunities. Leaving behind comfort for the new. Wonderful relationships that can never happen. The cost is great, but it’s so worth it.

I am thankful, but I am sad. Melancholic would probably be a better word. 

This morning, I woke up, sliced my piece of pumpkin pie and began to do devos with music playing in my headphones. It’s not quite the same, but it is a little bit of home. I am thankful.

 

 

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Waiting for a Door

I know where I need to get to, just not how to get there. 

“If you’re waiting for a door that is shut, walk through the door that is open to you, or you sit down and wait for the door to open”. 

I am sitting in a room. I hear a voice; a voice that beckons me to come, but when I look up I do not see any doors. I can’t see. I’m blind. I hear the voice beckoning, with my anxiety rapidly pumping blood through my body I can’t focus to hear. I can’t see. Still, the voice bids me to come, but I cannot hear.

Philippians 4:6 – 

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Okay. Prayer and supplication. God, show me where I am going. Give me your direction.

Proverbs 16:9 – 

The mind of man plans his way,
But the Lord directs his steps.

Okay, Lord direct my steps. Show me my steps where they will lead. I have no plans.

Proverbs 3:5-6 – 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.

God, I am acknowledging you. I trust you, but you need to show me where I am going. Show me the door

I must have missed something. Prayer and supplication. Prayer and supplication. What is supplication?

sup·pli·ca·tion
 the action of asking or begging for something earnestly or humbly.
“he fell to his knees in supplication”

Well, I certainly have been earnest, but what does it mean to ask humbly? I need to acknowledge that this won’t happen by my earning it or figuring out something, by carving my own door. 

Sit and wait for your door to open. 

What shall I do until then? Live

Someone recently said two phrases to me, (one of which I am pretty sure is the re-imagining of a Tolkien quote.

“God is never late, nor is He early. He does things exactly when He wants them done, His timing.”

and

“Let God”

So…I wait. Maybe when I heard the beckoning I thought it meant now, and perhaps it does, either way, I will wait until that door opens believing that God will open it precisely when he means to. He doesn’t need me to construct any doors. 

“When God makes a promise to you, He doesn’t expect you to fulfill it for him. Your parents don’t tell you they will buy you candy, then expect you to pay for it.”

Speaking through the Script

Short post today. 

Just some musings. With all of this confusion going on, I needed clarity and it seems that every time I went to listen to God, to hear what he had to say, my own thoughts would get muddied in the mix of listening to God. I was trying to figure out a way to do it, and suddenly (either by my own imagination or more likely God’s divine inspiration) I thought to write it out like dialogue. 

So, I sat there and asked God questions and wrote to my best ability what he responded with. And in the end, it wasn’t as if he told me the specifics of what the next few weeks would hold, but he definitely reassured me that He is with me, that every step He is laying out. Basically, the message was: Don’t be so afraid, enjoy life.

A Man of My Word

Today I was afraid. I came to today thinking, “I need to blog today because I said I would, I said I would blog Mondays because those are my Sabbath days”. I spent much of my morning finishing up homework that was late and then my afternoon was spent watching Doctor Who, because for some reason I couldn’t resist watching and I felt the need to stay. I had to blog sometime today, but I didn’t know what about because to be honest I did not spend any extra time with the Lord, but I had to blog because I said I would. For me, my word is important, if I say I was going to do something I will do it.

But I could think of nothing to write, I needed to spend time with God. Then I had an opportunity, an excuse really, to spend time with God. A friend of mine needed a ride to work, so I thought I would have the ride back to talk to God. Which I did. It was the normal, anxious “God, where are you? You said you would provide a way. Where is it?” A lot of me worrying and ignoring God’s words of life and support. But, I’ve already written about how worried I am and how big of a leap of faith this is for me and I don’t want to keep harping about how flaky my faith is and how I still have no plan. I need to write because I said I would, and I need to follow through with what I said I would do. 

Then, because I watched too much Doctor Who, it was time for our Monday night service here at school. I thought, for sure God is going to say something that will embolden me, that will give me confidence in this blind walk I am making. This great step. Mike did the service a little differently tonight. He brought five different students to talk about what God has been revealing to them in their past few months. Of course, all of them had some great insight, but three stood out. The second individual that spoke, shared about her fears and problems with trusting God. It was amazing to hear because I Identified with those same fears and trust issues. It is the mindset that, “Yes, God is good, but am I certain He is going to do these things He has promised”. After she shared, Mike asked if anyone had similar trusting problems, my hand shot into the air while others timidly raised theirs.

A friend texted me, giving me a hard time about how fast my hand rose. I said I identified and she responded by saying how proud she was to see me going into this leap of faith with no plan and just trusting God. I thought this would be good to share in my blog: how reassuring to know that I wasn’t the only one afraid to come out onto the water, or more accurately, that I was afraid God wouldn’t take care of me. Just typing it out, I realize how foolish my mindset can be, but it is what it is and that is most likely why God is doing this with me.

The next individual who spoke, shared about personal transformation and growth and to be honest it wasn’t until the end that I really got what he was saying. He brought into perspective the passage in Matthew 6 where Jesus tells those listening not to worry about their needs because if God can take care of the flowers of the field and the birds of the air then he can take care of our personal needs. The student mentioned how the seed doesn’t get to work any harder to become the flower, it just is and the surroundings are what do the work to make it into a flower. It reminded me of the process that God is doing in me. This I could really write about.

The last student interviewed is a senior in college and examining his plans for the future. He shared a vision God gave him where he saw a goal on the mountain that he wanted to get to. Being a high achiever, he said that he just needed to forage through the mountain, taking the direct route. After hearing a sermon he realized it had been a long time since he had heard God’s voice so he sat and spoke with God. God basically said He was always there with him and he should stop trying to go his own way, but trust God and take His path. I could write about this.

Then, as I was walking out of the church, Mike stopped me. He spoke to me in his very fatherly way and asked if I had a plan. I shook my head. “I didn’t think so. I want you to know you can come back in January. In fact, since you graduate in May come back and finish out like everyone else. I just want you to know you still have a place here. Sometimes its better to eat crow. I want you to know that you are a part of this family and you should feel safe to fall back on us.” I knew what he meant. He spoke what was a fear of mine, that this wasn’t going to happen and I would fall. He just wanted to make sure that if this did happen that I wouldn’t be alone and homeless. That I wouldn’t let my pride of “I’m going to make this work, even if it isn’t” get in the way of reason. This sent my world cascading upside down. 

This was my biggest fear, my biggest conflict of trust. What if God didn’t really tell me all of this and I’ve been claiming my plan as God’s plan and in two months it’s going to be evident to all how much I failed, lied, and was deluded. 

As I mentioned, I am a man of my word. At least I believe so, almost to a fault. If I tell someone I will do something, even if it is immensely difficult for me to do, I will do it, solely because I said I would and I don’t want to let them down. Mike addressed this foible. He is fearful that because I told people God said I need to move to New York, that I would do it, with or without His blessing, just for the sake of not letting anyone down. This is no reason to move, this is not faith.

If God has not told me to go yet or I misunderstood him in some way, I need to eat crow and make for those arrangements. I need to take a step back and be safe and smart, otherwise my pride will end up throwing me to the wolves. I cannot move in the fear of letting others down. This move is about God and me, about my faith, about God’s goodness, not about impressing anyone or proving something. This must be rooted only in God and nothing else, just a pure, unequivocal child-like trust in God. 

I’m moving to New York in 18 days. I don’t have the money to do it. I don’t have an apartment yet. I have an application in at Starbucks and at a Theatre Production company. If, in 17 days God has not provided miraculously for the move to happen now, I will eat some of that humble pie, apologize for my misunderstanding and work faithfully here at Ignite until the day God calls me out. Please pray.

Stepping out Onto the Waves

I’m leaving. I’m stepping out of the boat. It’s decided, I will trust God.

I have always known that I was headed towards, strike that, I discovered this my Freshman year in college. I was content with something less that my dreams because it was safe. I was to teach English and Theatre at the High School level, which is a great vocation and life, but not for me. There was something more. I was not even aware of the possibility of doing Ministry in New York, much less living there until God revealed a little seed, an idea.

A church in a theatre, where the pastor spoke behind the proscenium to a congregation of actors, singers, dancers, writers, producers, and the rest of those weird people dubbed “artists”. This wouldn’t be like the church they had grown up in, but a church that spoke the truth of God, his love for people and his genuine desire for the betterment of people from where they are at. In Romans, Paul tells the people of Rome, 

     “For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners,Christ died for us.” (Rom. 5:6-8)

So, this church, would love all kinds of people, even the ones with rainbow hair or just a flair for the dramatic, but what is great is that this church would welcome those that are different and would not try take away their creativity. God has created us all to be creative, because being in the made in the image of God it would make sense that we reflect one of the Creator’s basic attributes. Somehow along the way of developing theology the church has come to believe that in order to become more like Christ, we must strip whatever makes us unique, but this is not so. God created us to become like Jesus, yes, to live like He does, to love others, but that does not mean that we must endeavor to join some faceless mass of people that extol the worship of a creator who has made the world diverse in His intimate knowledge.

All this to say, I am going. I am stepping out. 

Peter once said to Jesus as He was standing in the middle of a sea, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” (Mt. 14:28). Jesus responded with a simple “Come”. Now he has beckoned me, but not out onto the sea, into the city.

The City.

New York City. 

I must follow his command. I do not know how it is to be, but I know I must go. 

Yesterday was my last day of work and in one month I will be moving out of my apartment, off of the Ignite campus in Christiansburg, VA and heading north. I have almost no money, but God has beckoned me come, so I must go. I am terrified as the idea of failing, so I must daily remind myself that was has called into being he will make it so, and that God fulfills His promises. I must trust Him. I will trust Him.

This blog will be used to share the walk that I have with God. The adventure that we strike out on. My plan is that every Sabbath Day (for me this is Mondays) I will sit with the Lord and by the end of the day I will be sharing of what we spoke about. If you wish, follow my journey with God towards my dream and please, please pray for my city. Pray for the people I am to love. Pray that God will continue to build His Kingdom. Please pray for me, that I will consistently seek Him and not fall to my fears.

God is building up my faith and perhaps through this, He can build up yours.

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